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Participate in the Fair Wages Commission

Too many people in BC are working hard, often in more than one job, but still not making ends meet. Many workers tell us: we needed a $15 minimum wage yesterday! After many years of mobilizing, now is our opportunity to show the government that we need this increase for all employees, no exceptions.

Thanks to your hard work, the provincial government has launched a new Fair Wages Commission. Right now, the Fair Wages Commission is examining:

  1. Timelines for increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour and how minimum wage increases should be treated in the future
  2. What to do with the minimum wage rates for farm workers, liquor servers, live-in caregivers, resident caretakers, and live-in camp leaders, which are currently lower than the general minimum wage ($11.35).

Most people living in poverty are working, and almost half of the poor children in BC live in families with at least one parent working full-time. The current $11.25 minimum wage is still not enough to allow workers to escape poverty. A single person working full-time, full-year at $11.25 would still be below the poverty line in Vancouver and other large cities in the province, and a person with a child would be far below. In addition, agricultural workers, liquor servers, live-in caregivers, resident caretakers, and live-in camp leaders receive separate wage rates which can leave them earning below $11.25 an hour. Earnings must be high enough to enable people to make ends meet.

There are three official ways that you can participate in the Commission’s first round of consultations:

1. Attend a regional meeting

To book a timeslot to speak at a regional meeting, you need to email FWC@gov.bc.ca (bcc info@bcpovertyreduction.ca, so that we can help support you), noting the day/location you would like to attend. The dates for these consultations are:

  • November 16, 2017 – Abbotsford
    Quality Hotel & Conference Centre from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • November 17, 2017 – Nanaimo
    Best Western Dorchester Hotel from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • November 21, 2017 – Kelowna
    Sandman Hotel & Suites from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • November 23, 2017 – Vancouver
    Hyatt Regency Vancouver from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • November 28, 2017 – Prince George
    Coast Inn of the North from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • November 29, 2017 – Victoria
    Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • November 30, 2017 – Surrey
    Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel Surrey from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • December 7, 2017 – Cranbrook
    Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Here’s a one-page sheet to help you prepare at the consultations. The Fight for $15 Campaign is also hosting webinars to help you prepare to present. You can register for a webinar at http://www.fightfor15bc.ca/calendar

2. Submit your written feedback

Written submissions must be provided as a Word document or PDF and are limited in length to five pages and should be emailed as attachments to FWC@gov.bc.ca (bcc info@bcpovertyreduction.ca, so that we can help support you). You can put your Name, Organization (if answering on its behalf) and Contact information (email) at the top of the submission, but to protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include any personal information including phone numbers and email addresses in the body of your comments. The deadline for feedback is 4 PM on December 7th.

You can also use this helpful form to message the Fair Wages Commission: http://www.fightfor15bc.ca/fairwages.

3. Provide a research brief

Any individual or organization that would like to provide an analytical or research brief, can submit their brief by email to FWC@gov.bc.ca (bcc info@bcpovertyreduction.ca, so that we can help support you). The deadline for research briefs is 4 PM on December 7th.

In Spring 2018, there will be further consultation on bringing the minimum wage in line with the living wage. This can be done through investment in universal childcare and social housing. We’ll share information about these further consultations, when we receive it closer to that date.

Keep an eye on this page for resources to help you participate in the Commission.